The Omiš Guitar Fest is currently in its 8th Edition and has been growing in international attendance by participants and audience alike. This year, one of the showcase acts will definitely be from the band “Sleepy Man” who are a teen-sensation hailing all the way from New Jersey. The band consists of brothers Tommy, Robbie, Johnnie and best friend Josh.
Sleepy Man has a strong 100,000 + followers across their social media platforms and millions of views on their YouTube channel. Yet, as many YouTube success stories go these days, they had no idea what they were doing, was about to go viral.
When asked why they chose to play bluegrass the brothers went on to explain, that they each started playing different instruments – Robbie began playing the classical violin and Tommy the rock guitar. Then the brothers saw an old clip of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs playing the banjo and they had a new dose of inspiration; youngest brother Johnny instantly picked up the banjo and the rest, they say, is history.
The boys explained: “we had no idea we were going to become so big, we were just fooling around, then uploaded the videos to YouTube, not to become famous, but just for friends and family. All of a sudden it started getting a lot of hits, the fact that our 7-year-old brother Johnnie was playing the banjo like a maniac probably had something to do with it.”
It wasn’t long before Sleepy Man performed on the Late Night David Letterman Show when Johnnie was just 9 years old – this video has an incredible 20 million hits today. They have since played at the famed New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, TED talks and much more.
This is the boys' first time in Europe and they are excited to be in Croatia, we asked if they had anything in specific they were looking forward to seeing or doing here, they responded:
“We are excited to be here, first impressions are it is gorgeous, we are looking forward to the festival, exploring around, especially to see some historic sights like Fortresses (Fortica) and Diocletian’s Palace. We will hopefully also go rafting or zip-lining in Omiš.”
Sleepy Man have officially brought the genre bluegrass back to life, adding their own unique touch, to create a more modern, alternative, pop-rock, style! This fusion-style will be a welcome addition to the Omiš Guitar Fest, whose main aim is to promote the guitar in all its forms and unearth new talent. Who knows, maybe Sleepy Man will bring a new dose of inspiration to Omiš and Croatia.
The boys will be playing on the closing night of the Omis Guitar Fest, on Saturday 22nd April, from 8pm at Hotel Plaza in Omis.